Cowboy and Biker Camp 2023
MOUNTAIN PINE, ARK. – Each year on the last weekend of September, Helvis Moody, Southwestern Union youth and young adult ministries director, and his team organize a spirit-filled weekend with real cowboys and bikers! This annual event is usually held at Lone Star Camp in Athens, Tex.; however, this year cowboys and bikers convened in perfect harmony at Camp Yorktown Bay in Mountain Pine, Ark., on Sept. 29, 2023. The featured theme for this year’s camp was “Pray Up Before You Mount Up!”
The culture of “horsepower” was highlighted throughout the weekend. Tracy Wood, North American Division youth and young adult ministries director, delivered heart-convicting messages on Sabbath. Juan Santos energetically translated the sermons for the various nationalities present with Ray Ruiz’s help. During the services, Moody sent a motorcycle helmet around to collect the morning’s offering and charged the bikers with a mission to ride together into the local community to share with them the love of Jesus Christ. Witnessing tracts were distributed to be shared with the community. The bikers, some of which drove hundreds of miles, rode into town and ministered to the locals.
Later that afternoon, John Hart, a newcomer to the Cowboy and Biker Camp, was especially blessed by his experience. Having suffered a stroke that caused paralysis to his left side, Hart cannot ride the motorcycle that sits idle in his garage. A fellow biker and his wife, Eddie and Joan Price, who recently experienced a miracle themselves after Eddie had a near-fatal motorcycle accident, asked Hart if he wanted to ride again. After being strapped onto the backrest with his gait belt, Hart again experienced the ride of his life. A new brotherhood was born between two bikers who live states away from each other.
While some bikers rode into town to witness, others accomplished in-reach and enjoyed the lake on a boat ride. Hart had another Bible-inspired experience. Like the paralyzed man lowered through the roof to see Jesus, Hart smiled expectantly as the cowboys lowered him down the side of a mountain-like hill to the lake to enjoy a boat ride.
After sunset, many bikers received various awards and enjoyed fellowship, food and fun. The entire experience left everyone filled with gratitude, purpose and a sense of unity!
By Cheryl Jones-Hart